Wild North, perhaps the city’s most upscale food vendor operating out of an 8-by-16-foot shack on wheels, has finally grown into a brick-and-mortar restaurant.
The business, which was named WW’s Food Cart of the Year in 2019, officially opened its new dining room at 1411 NE Broadway on Sept. 24. It occupies the main floor of the historical building there, which is shared with another eatery—Petisco—located on the garden level.
“We love the location because it’s centrally located, has a great neighborhood community of support, and we wanted a space that made our guests feel like they are enjoying a meal in a cozy cabin hidden in the middle of the city,” co-owner Amelia Hughes tells WW.
A cabinlike atmosphere maintains the gourmet camping grub theme that Hughes and her husband, Brandon, established when they launched Wild North in 2018, first at the Cartlandia pod on Southeast 82nd Avenue before moving to one of the lots outside Base Camp Brewing. There, the business became known for its unconventional cart food—think dishes you’d normally eat on a fabric tablecloth while being attended to by a server: lamb tartare, pan-seared trout and bone marrow accompanied by foraged mushrooms.
The menu is still built around hyperlocal and seasonal ingredients. A no-waste ethos also guides the kitchen. Since its helmed by Brandon Hughes, you can expect unique methods that incorporate the entire animal into his cooking, like his lamb’s head chili recipe. This fall, duck and trout will be the highlighted proteins.
Wild North also offers a full beer and wine list. The Hugheses can still offer catering services, but now with the new restaurant they can cook for onsite events and provide private dining options. Reservations for parties of six are available, and outdoor seating is an option as weather permits.
“This project was a labor of love for our food and our community, and we did most of the renovations ourselves due to the contractor shortage with COVID,” says Amelia Hughes. “We are really excited to welcome everyone into the space to enjoy a rustic, seasonal, feel-good meal.”